Aam Aadmi Party has been taking huge strides in the state of Karnataka and this could be seen at an event held to administer oath to AAP Karnataka office bearers in Davangere on Saturday. AAP National Convenor Shri Arvind Kejriwal and Chief Minister of Punjab Sardar Bhagwant Mann were present at the occasion, which was attended by thousands of office bearers from different parts of the state.

Addressing the gathering, Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that he was immensely happy with the speed at which AAP was becoming popular among the people of Karnataka. He pointed out that the thousands of office bearers gathered at the event here today were leaders until the block level only, and said that if all other AAP leaders had gathered here the venue would become too small.

The Delhi CM said that the people here in Karnataka are wonderful, but unfortunately their political leaders are mostly corrupt. The current regime is popularly referred to as ‘40% commission sarkaar’. It is these leaders that have defamed the state all across the country and the world. It is commonly said that for any project to be finalised, a 40 percent share has to be given to the politicians in the form of bribe.

He also said that just a few days ago, Shri Amit Shah had visited Karnataka and at an election rally he told the people ‘please vote for the BJP government and we will eliminate corruption in the state’. Someone had to remind him that it is the BJP government that is at power in Karnataka. For the last five years it is the BJP that has been in power in the state and now the Home Minister comes here and asks people to vote for the BJP government to end corruption in the state, he added.

Referring to the recent incident of a BJP leader’s son getting caught taking a bribe, Shri Arvind Kejriwal hit out at the BJP-led government and asked why the person had not been arrested as yet. He pointed out that as soon as Shri Amit Shah left the state, the very next day, the son of a BJP leader was caught taking a bribe on camera. When his house was raided Rs 8 crore was unearthed from there. However, he has not yet been arrested for this. Also, since it is the BJP government at the Centre, you never know, he might be conferred with the Padma Bhushan the next year. Rs 8 crore has been found at the residence of this BJP leader’s son, but the BJP has arrested Shri Manish Sisodia on the allegations of taking a bribe. Yet they found nothing at his house, despite their allegations where they sometime claim that he took Rs 1000 crore and at other times says that he took Rs 10,000 crore. The BJP is not even sure of the amount that they claim has been taken in this so-called scam. All across the country if any person is involved in a crime or an attempt at theft or rape, the BJP invites that person to join their party.

The Delhi CM added that recently state elections were held in three states in the country – Nagaland, Tripura and Meghalaya. The BJP won Tripura and Nagaland and their alliance won in the third state. On the evening when the elections results were declared, PM Shri Narendra Modi held a celebratory function at the BJP headquarters and in that speech he spoke about AAP. This is despite the AAP not taking part in the elections in any of these states. Shri Narendra Modi asked the people in the country to beware ‘kattar imandaar log in AAP’. I want to respectfully tell the PM that he should stop being jealous of the Aam Aadmi Party. The BJP is afraid of AAP because of the speed at which AAP has been getting the support of the people all over the country. I would like to the PM to learn from us. Every political party should always be ready to learn from another party if they are doing the right thing. AAP proudly says that it is ‘kattar imandaar’ and we wish the BJP learns from the Aam Aadmi Party, he said.

Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that the last time state elections were held in Karnataka in 2018, the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi came to the state before the polls and said during his rally that the current regime is the ‘20 percent commission’ government and he asked the people to vote for the BJP and promised that it would bring an end to corruption. The people trusted the BJP and voted heavily in their favour, but who would have thought that the BJP government would double the margin of corruption and go on to form the ‘40 percent commission’ government. AAP National Convenor added that this time around the people should not vote for the ‘double-engine government’ as it may further double corruption in the state. He asked the people to bring in a new engine in the state and said that this engine belongs to AAP.

Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that he has been informed that the contractors in the state work with a lot of fear, because they fear the officials, government officers and politicians. For the first time in 75 years, he said that the contractors association in the state got together and wrote a letter to the Prime Minister. In their letter they claimed that they are forced to pay 40 percent commission to politicians. Yet, the Prime Minister did not respond to their letter. Instead, the 82-year-old Contractors’ Association President D Kempanna was sent to jail by the BJP government because he raised his voice against corruption in the state.

The Delhi CM also added that a BJP worker, Santosh Patil, who was bothered by corruption in the state, wrote letters to the senior leaders in the party and finally he was forced to commit suicide. Similarly, an association of private schools in the state was forced to write a letter and say that they are being asked for bribes and therefore it had become difficult for them to run their schools. Even the Hindu Math over here is forced to pay a bribe of 30 percent. Shri Arvind Kejriwal asked what kind of a government is this that asks for bribes from contractors, private school owners and even the organisations that run a Hindu Math. He added that these people were forced to write to the PM and complaint and yet nothing was done about their problems. He said that the PM of India is instead busy arresting people like Shri Manish Sisodia.

AAP National Convenor added that Rs 20,000 crores has been spent to repair the roads of Bengaluru in the last five years, and yet over 100 people have lost their lives due to the potholes on the streets of Bengaluru. He further added that this government has been so corrupt that almost everything here can be brought with money. If you want to become a sub-inspector you just have to pay Rs 75 lakhs. Similarly, he added, that if a person wants to become a lecture they need to pay Rs 25 lakhs. Even MLAs have been brought by one political party or another in Karnataka, unfortunately. Recently a BJP MLA had only said that if you want to become a CM in Karnataka, you have to pay Rs 2500 crore.

Shri Arvind Kejriwal said that it is time to throw these political parties out of the state and bring an honest party in Karnataka as well. He pointed out that without providing free electricity or water or building schools and hospitals in the state, the state is under a debt of Rs 3 lakh crore and asked why this was the case. He said that it was all because of corruption. He further pointed out that in Delhi, several basic necessities such as water, electricity and education in government schools and healthcare in government hospitals were free of cost and yet the Delhi Government budget was in surplus. He said that it was all about the intentions of the government. In Delhi and now in Punjab, there is a government that wants to work for the people and therefore it is able to provide for the citizens without making the finances of the state suffer. He added that while the Karnataka government has been busy in corruption, the state governments in Delhi and Punjab had rooted out corruption. Pointing to Sardar Bhagwant Mann, Shri Arvind Kejriwal said the when a minister and later an MLA were found indulging in corruption under his government, the Punjab CM immediately threw them out of the party and even went on to jail them. He reiterated the ‘zero corruption’ approach of the AAP-led governments and said that whoever indulges in corruption will be sent to jail irrespective of which political party they belong. To add further weightage to his point, Shri Arvind Kejriwal even said that if his own son was caught indulging in corruption, even he would be sent to jail.

AAP National Convenor said that if an AAP government is formed in Karnataka then the electricity bills of households would become zero, just like it was done in Delhi. He also said that the AAP government in Karnataka will build good quality schools in the state, just like it has in Delhi. He added that the PM cannot make such promises as his party does not know how to implement these policies. He said that he recently spent a lot of time in Gujarat, where despite the BJP government being in power for 30 years, the condition of schools and hospitals were miserable. Using the example of Madhya Pradesh, Delhi CM said that in states where the BJP has been in power for a long time, the conditions of schools and hospitals are abysmal.

Shri Arvind Kejriwal also promised jobs to every youngster in the state and added that in Delhi 12 lakh jobs have been given to the youngsters in the state. He also added that until the youngsters in Karnataka are provided a job, they will also be given an unemployment allowance of Rs 3000 per month. He added that after Maharashtra, it is in Karnataka that you have the most number of farmer suicides and therefore announced a loan waiver for the farmers of the state. He also promised the implementation of the MSP and said that all the other problems of the farmer community will be looked into closely.

He concluded by saying that there is only one solution to the multiple problems that he has pointed out today and added that only a ‘kattar imandaar sarkaar’ can be trusted with finding solutions to these problems. “Just give AAP one chance here in Karnataka and if our party does not work for the citizens here then we will never come back here to ask for any votes,” he said.

Addressing the gathering, Sardar Bhagwant Mann said that after he arrived in Karnataka, he spoke to some citizens and found out that the problems faced by the people over here are the same as those faced by the people in Punjab. The problems faced by the farmers here are similar to those faced by those in Punjab. He pointed out that when AAP formed the government in Punjab, the sugarcanes farmers were owed dues worth over Rs 300 crores and this was one of the first things paid to the farmers. He also said that the rate given to the sugarcane farmers in Punjab is Rs 380 per quintal, which is the highest in the country. In Karnataka, the sugarcane farmers are paid around Rs 200-220. The main issue for the farmers has been that the mills do not pay money upfront and often clear their dues in several years.

The Punjab CM also said that he was aware that unemployment was a key problem in Karnataka, just like it is in the rest of the country. He said that the government has a vacancy of 2.5 lakh and yet the recruitment by the Central Government has been slow. He went on to add that it has not yet been a year since AAP formed the government in Punjab, and yet it has been able to recruit 27,790 people at different positions across the state. He also added that the job of a contractual worker is a difficult one, as he or she does not know when they could be thrown out of their job. In this regard, the Punjab government has made permanent 28,000 persons who were contractually employed by the government.

Sardar Bhagwant Mann also promised that once AAP government is formed in Karnataka, it will revert back to the Old Pension Scheme (OPS), and gave the example of Punjab, where he was successful in reverting back to OPS. He criticized the NPS by saying that the hard-earned money of government employees was being invested in the stock market, and blamed the Central Government of allowing Nirav Modi and Adani of fleeing with the money that belonged to the people of the country.

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